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Pau Gasol is not turning into Kevin Garnett anytime soon

Feb 7, 2011, 4:05 PM EDT

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

It’s amazing how many people want Pau Gasol to be something he’s not.

He is not a traditional, back-to-the-basket, power game center (and some Lakers fans criticized him for it). He doesn’t have a big ego and demand the ball, he gently reminds guys he’d like to touch the ball more (he gets criticized for that, too). He is not a black swan, he’s often a white one.

He’s not Kevin Garnett punching guys in the, um, family jewels, Phil Jackson told the Daily News.

“Pau knows who he is,” Jackson said. “He’s tenacious. I like him to be aggressive offensively. He’s always a willing passer. The one thing I’m on him about is getting that first rebound. Don’t let them knock it out of your hands. Don’t let them knock it away.

“Otherwise, all this talk about how aggressive he is or how aggressive he isn’t falls on deaf ears. He totally gets it. He is who he is. We’re not going to make him into (Boston’s Kevin) Garnett. He’s not going to go around and punch guys in the (groin).

“He’s too nice of a guy. This is an intelligent person who understands what this game is about. We’ve been to the Finals three years in a row, so that’s part of it.”

Gasol is one of the few classic intellectuals in the NBA. If you want to discuss the works of José Saramago, he’s your guy (although he prefers non-fiction).

He’s not overly aggressive by nature, but also knows when he needs to be and turn it on. And he’s got a couple nice rings to prove it.

Jackson, for all his poking at Gasol, knows people and how to motivate them. And he knows needling Gasol through the media washing off his target. So he’ll just needle KG instead. Classic Phil.

  1. thestudiokida - Feb 7, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    You can criticize a guy for his game when he hasn’t won any championships. When you have a team that isn’t a championship team, you add Pau Gasol and all of a sudden you make it to 3 straight NBA Finals….. GET OF PAU’S BACK!! He’s huge for that team.

    • passerby23 - Feb 7, 2011 at 7:38 PM

      This KG “punch to the nuts” thing is getting old. It looked as if he tried to spear him in the gut. It was only when he elevated that it hit him in the jewels. Cheap? Yes. Dirty, suspension-worthy move? No way. Same goes for the ref trying to grab KG’s arm as he’s walking away from the altercation.

    • secdominance - Feb 7, 2011 at 9:46 PM

      he should come out say, “Look Kobe, I should have been Finals MVP last night so don’t act like I don’t mean anything to this team!”

  2. ocgunslinger - Feb 8, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    ANYBODY who knows the Lakers knows that Pau was and is the missing piece that makes a championship team. Even Kobe acknowledges the fact that Pau is one of the best.

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